Burka Avenger: Pakistan’s cartoon superhero battling for girls’ education
By Rizwan Khatik - Thu Jul 25, 1:37 pm
Meet the Burka Avenger, a Pakistani crime fighter who has joined Wonder Woman and Catwoman in the pantheon of female superheroes.
A mild-mannered teacher with secret martial arts skills, the Avenger uses a flowing black burka to hide her identity as she fights local thugs seeking to shut down the girls’ school where she works.
The heroine is the star of a new animated cartoon series set to air on Geo TV in early August alongside the launch of a new iPhone app.
Creator Aaron Haroon Rashid, one of Pakistan’s biggest pop stars, created the series as a way to emphasise the importance of girls’ education and other issues.
Action in the “Burka Avenger” cartoon series, which is scheduled to start running on Geo Tez from July 28 at 6:00 PM, is much more lighthearted.The bungling bad guys evoke more laughter than fear and are no match for the Burka Avenger, undoubtedly the first South Asian ninja who wields books and pens as weapons.
The Urdu language show is the brainchild of one of Pakistan’s biggest pop stars, Aaron Haroon Rashid — known to many as simply Haroon — who conceived of it as a way to emphasize the importance of girls’ education and teach children other lessons, such as protecting the environment and not discriminating against others.
“Each one of our episodes is centered around a moral, which sends out strong social messages to kids,” Rashid told The Associated Press in his first interview about the show. “But it is cloaked in pure entertainment, laughter, action and adventure.”
The main bad guys are Vadero Pajero, a balding, corrupt politician who wears a dollar sign-shaped gold medallion around his neck, and Baba Bandook, an evil magician with a bushy black beard and mustache who is meant to resemble a Taliban commander.
Caught in the middle are the show’s main child characters: Ashu and her twin brother Immu and their best friend Mooli, who loves nothing more than munching on radishes in the company of his pet goat, Golu.
In the first episode, Pajero wants to shut down the girls’ school in Halwapur so he can pocket the money that a charity gave him to run it. He finds a willing accomplice in Bandook.